The driver of a stolen silver 2008 Corvette walked away unscathed from a horrific crash in Kings County, California on Thursday.
Victor Zavala, 28, of Kingsburg, California has been arrested by the California Highway Patrol on multiple felony charges after the crash, which occurred Thursday afternoon when he ran a stop sign at the intersection of 6th and Barstow in a rural area just south of Kingsburg, and rammed into an SUV with five people inside.
One of those passengers was a 21-year-old man who died from his injuries. Two women and a 14-month-old child inside the SUV remain at area hospitals with serious injuries, as does the female passenger in the Corvette.
Lawmen had located the stolen Corvette thanks to a GPS service, and Zavala allegedly refused to stop for them, reaching speeds well in excess of 100 mph, according to witnesses.
“His vehicle greatly exceeds the capability of our vehicles,” Officer John Tyler told the Fresno Bee. “That tells me he was going very, very fast.”
The officers soon lost sight of the stolen Corvette and stopped the chase, but while canvassing the area, they discovered the accident, where a 2012 GMC Terrain had been hit by the Corvette.
“CHPs came and parked and ran up to the Corvette, and they all just surrounded it with their guns out saying, ‘put your hands up! Don’t move!’ ” said Adam Avedikian.
The dead man has been identified as James Edward Moreno, a passenger in the SUV. Also injured in that vehicle were Marissa Campos, 21, of Rancho Cordova; Sophia Solis, 21, of Kingsburg; and a 14-month-old boy. Another baby in the SUV escaped injury. A farm worker using a ladder to pick peaches at the southeast corner of the intersection was also hurt.
Witness Penny Workman came upon the accident scene and filmed the activity with her phone.
“They (officers) had their guns on the Corvette,” Workman told the Bee. “The cops kneeling by the car stayed with the baby the whole time. There were three helicopters that flew over us.”
Zavala was booked into Kings County Jail on suspicion of felony DUI, felony evasion of a peace officer, gross vehicular manslaughter, and vehicle theft. His bail was set at $195,000.
Lawmen said drugs or alcohol appear to have been a factor in the crash.
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